Rode Connect lets you mix up to four USB mics at once

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USB microphones are great for creators starting out in podcasting – until they have to mic more than one person in a room. There hasn’t been an efficient way to simultaneously record multiple USB mics on one computer, so now Rode is introducing an app that starts to offer a solution. Rode’s new app, Rode Connect, lets you record multitrack or mixed stereo audio when plugging up to four USB microphones into your computer. There’s one big catch, though: for now, you can only do this with one model of USB microphone – Rode’s $99 NT-USB Mini. The Rode Connect does that in an app on your computer with USB mics, which can come in handy for those who do not have an external mixer or professional microphones. But since the app is locked into Rode’s USB microphone ecosystem, it’s hard to take full advantage of it. According to Rode, there may be more models of its microphones added to the Rode Connect capability list. Rode Connect seems to be an efficient way to use software to solve the problem with recording a bunch of USB mics with one device, but the product looks more like a way to convince consumers to buy multiples of Rode’s new microphones for the time being.

Instagram will test letting users toggle public like counts on and off

Instagram will test giving people more control over where they see like counts on posts. The company announced a “small global test” that will present users with three options when it comes to the like count: choosing not to see like counts on anyone’s posts, turning them off for their own posts, or keeping the original experience. This builds on an initial Instagram test that hid the public like count for certain users around the world. In that case, users didn’t have a choice about whether they saw the like count or not. Instagram told users that it wanted people to “focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.” Influencers initially worried this could impact brand deals because their engagement rates wouldn’t be public, but that reality hasn’t played out because they’ve been able to view their own like counts privately and share them with brand partners. Still, providing a more custom experience might be the right direction for the platform to move toward, giving people who are aware of how public like counts make them feel a chance to escape them, while also allowing people who want to keep track of the counts able to do so.